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SUMMARY: A dark and stormy night, a lonely country road.
A blinding flash of lightening lit the terrain ahead and then, just as suddenly it was pitch black again. The instrumentation panel of the land vehicle flickered on and off for a moment and then totally died. Chakotay guided the car to a slow, bumping halt off the road. He got it under the shelter of tall pine-like trees and took a deep breath as the accompanying thunder sounded. Then all that was heard was the heavy rainfall beating against the car. He turned and met Kathryn's eyes.
"Wow," she whispered. "That was a big one. I think the storm is getting closer."
He bent over the steering device and peered out of the window. "I think you're right; it's going to get worse before it gets better. But we're sheltered pretty well under these trees, we should be fine."
"Unless one of them gets hit by lightening and falls on top of us." Her eyes were huge as he frowned.
"Didn't think of that. Wish you hadn't, either."
"What happened to the car's interior lighting?"
"The electric panel was shorted out by that last lightening strike. Don't worry, I'm sure I can get it working again - I packed the standard shuttle repair kit when I saw what we they gave us to travel in."
Kathryn started to giggle and he turned to look at her. "What?" She covered her mouth with a hand and he heard a muffled, "nothing," through the stifled laughter.
"C'mon, Kathryn, share the joke. What's so funny?"
"Your standard issue for all away missions - a shuttle repair kit!" Her laughter was in full force now and he couldn't stop his own grin.
"I had nothing to do with this breakdown!"
"Oh, I can't wait to tell Tom!"
"Paris? What does he have to do with anything?"
"And B'Elanna and Harry.."
"And Neelix and Seven and the Doctor.."
"Kathryn, I'm warning you.."
"OH! And Tuvok! Tuvok is the one that will enjoy this the most! I've always wanted to see him actually laugh out loud!"
"One word, Janeway, and you won't be able to sit in that big chair for a week! Understand?!"
"Ooohh, threatening a senior officer! But shouldn't it be more dignified than a spanking?"
He leaned over and put his face two inches in front of hers. Her eyes were merry and his had an evil look twinkling in them. "What would you prefer?" his asked. "I aim to please."
She drove her forefinger into his chest and pushed him back. "Down boy, you've got work to do!"
He sighed. "Yeah. Right." He brought himself back up and twisted to look into the back seat. It was full of packages and bundles indicative of a picnic and he leaned over and started rooting around.
"I know it's here somewhere. I tossed it in at the last moment but it's here. Oh, look at this!" He pulled himself back to the front seat and handed her a bottle. "Wine. Why don't you open it, it should keep the chill off of us until I get the power back on. It's starting to get damp in here."
"Love to, I'm just in the mood for this. But look for the corkscrew and a couple of glasses, will you. I don't think I can pull this cork out with my teeth like they do in Tom's old movies." She was talking to his humped back as he continued his search through the back seat. He stretched out to grab something and presented her with a good view of his backside. She grinned.
"Okay, on one condition. Don't mention Paris' name again, Kathryn, and I mean it. If I'd wanted to spend my shore leave with him I would have, like in about a million years. What's this?" He slithered back and held up a bundle. "Hey, I think this is the food!"
Kathryn took it as he returned to his search and opened it up. "Oh, Chakotay, this looks wonderful. They really did us up proud!"
"Good, because I'm working up an appetite down here. Oh, there it is.." He grabbed the corkscrew just as another flash of lightening shot through the car causing him to jump violently. "Spirits!" he cried, and came back to the front seat abruptly.
"What? What happened?"
"Stabbed myself with that damned corkscrew!" he moaned and put his mouth on the fleshy part under his thumb. He moved his hand away for a moment and Kathryn saw his lips moving in a snarl, but his words were drowned out by the thunder. She decided that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.
"Here, let me take a look at it," she said gently and brought his wounded hand into a position where she could almost see it clearly. "It's stopped bleeding already, I think you'll live," she smiled up at him.
"It hurts like hell."
"Oh, poor baby. Here, let me kiss it better for you." She brought her mouth down to the affected area and softly laid her lips on it. Without moving she looked up at him and thrilled at the concentrated look on his face. He wasn't even breathing. On an impulse she separated her lips and let her tongue move against the wound. His reaction was worth it; he both stiffened and shivered at the same time. Then his arm relaxed and his fingers spread over her cheek, making tiny caressing movements.
He leant over her. "Kathryn, let go of my hand."
"Why, Chakotay? Don't you like it?"
"I do. Believe me - I do. But I have to get this power...back....on..." His voice trailed off and his eyes darkened. He started to pull his hand up, effectively bringing her with it, while his other arm reached towards her. She lifted away from his hand.
"Okay," was all she said.
"Yeah, 'okay'. I understand."
"Chakotay, are you going to repeat everything I say? I mean, I know you want to get some power in here, so - 'okay'."
"Oh. Okay." He shook his head with a vacant expression and went over the seat again. She didn't quite catch what he was muttering but she clearly heard his "Found it!" when it finally came. He slid back into his seat with the repair kit and pulled out the tricorder. He started to scan.
"Oh, this isn't too bad. I should have minimum power back in a minute but actually getting this thing started up and moving again might take a while longer." He turned to face her and caught his breath. This time it was he who had a good look at his companion's butt as she continued the search. And, unlike him, she was wearing a short little sundress - and pink panties.
"Just looking for those glasses, Chakotay. And maybe the candles, we may as well have some atmosphere while we dine tonight. Good thing it was a moonlight picnic we were going on."
"Sure, yeah. Just, uh, just let me know if you need any help." There was another flash of lightening and his view was helped out considerably. He bit his lip. "Uh, just fixing the interior power here.."
"Right." A pause. "Oh, there they are! Aggghhhhh!" Chakotay turned back just in time to see Kathryn's legs disappear behind the seat. He immediately turned around and peered into the dark of the back as the thunder boomed around them. She looked back up at him.
"I fell in."
"So it seems. Are you okay?"
"Yes. And," she held up the glasses in victory, "I have them!"
"Wonderful, pass them over before you cut yourself to shreds. Spirits, Kathryn, how do you think I'd feel reporting to Tuvok that you slit your wrists on my watch?"
"I'd want to be a fly on the wall for that meeting, that's for sure. Chakotay, help an old lady back over, will you?" He did.
She bounced in her seat and got adjusted. "There, no damage done," she smiled. He refrained from remarking on her disheveled hair and wild look, deciding that she'd only fix it if he did. He returned to fixing the interior power relay.
"Why don't you set out some food for us while I finish this. I could use a bite."
"Sure, no problem. I'll be the little woman waiting for my man to get home from work. Now, how am I going to light all these little tea lights?"
"There's a lighter in the kit. Don't burn down the joint, okay."
"You have no sense of adventure."
The soft glow of candlelight began to warm the interior. Presently the smell of good food got through to Chakotay's brain and he looked up. She had managed to make a cozy dining area in the front seat of this alien land vehicle and was now snuggled against the door watching him as she sipped wine. Their loaded plates were waiting for them on the deep dashboard. Suddenly the tricorder beeped and he jumped. He looked down at the readings.
"Done. We have emergency level power now, Kathryn."
"My hero," she smiled.
He smiled back and slowly started to gather up the tools. When everything was shipshape and Bristol fashion he made a show of snapping the lid back on and tossing it into the back seat.
"Honey, I'm home," he said in a low, dangerous voice. She'd heard this voice a few times and it always amazed her how it could be the same yet different, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes the emphasis was on the low, like when he was in a poker game; sometimes it was on the dangerous, like when he was dealing with hostile aliens; but right now the emphasis seemed to be equal. She decided she liked it.
"I've been waiting for you all day," she purred as she pulled away from the door, kicking off her sandals and making herself more comfortable beside him.
"So, little woman, what's for supper?"
"A little bit of this, a little bit of that. You'll like it; there isn't a leola root within a mile of this place. What are you doing?"
"Trying to find a little music for us. There, that's nice." He stopped fiddling with controls and leaned back and shut his eyes. "Yeah, that's very nice." A small pressure against his mouth made his eyes open and he saw Kathryn holding a morsel for him to eat. He slowly opened his mouth and gathered the food in, using his tongue expertly on both it and her fingers. He watched her reaction as he sucked them clean, slowly one at a time. It was hard to believe that their pupils could dilate any more in this dark car, but they did.
"You know, there's something about a little place to call your own, even if it's only a land vehicle awash in a monsoon. Work, food, a good woman, what more could a man want?"
"Well, considering that you actually have no idea how good I am, Chakotay, you might find the ideal life to be confining. Speaking for myself, I don't think I could give up living among the stars, it's part of who I am."
"I have never tried to change you, Kathryn."
"I know," she whispered.
"Is that all I get?"
"One little bite. Is that all I get?"
"You want more?"
"I want it all, Kathryn."
Suddenly his hand reached out and cupped her chin. Then it slowly travelled up to cover her cheek while they both sat motionless, eyes locked on each other's. Finally he slid it around to the back of her neck and started to pull her towards him. He leaned forward to meet her half way.
Almost seven years is a long time to watch lips and eyes and bodies and to smell a tantalizing scent that lingers long past the time when a person leaves and still do nothing to satisfy the urge to confirm fantasies. The command team of Voyager had demonstrated amazing control in this department but tonight, on an alien planet with rain pounding down on their little car and unknown music surrounding them, they finally let go.
Their kiss started out softly, a friendly greeting of two old friends meeting again after a long absence. Finally, Chakotay lifted his head slightly and whispered, "Hi."
"Hi," she whispered back.
Kathryn's lips remained half open as she surrendered. "Yes.." she said. Then her hand wrapped around his neck and pulled him back to her.
This time when his lips met hers Kathryn's feeling of friendship was replaced with something much more powerful. His weight was forcing her down along the seat and she involuntarily threw her head back, forcing his hot mouth to slide off hers and down her throat. She felt his growl against the base of her neck and arched helplessly again as he adjusted his position. He started a torturous return to her mouth, tasting her as he traveled.
His hand was free now and she felt its soft touch skimming from her thighs over her hip and towards her breasts. Just the thought of Chakotay's hand on her caused the fire inside to shoot to her nipples, hardening them into painful peaks, waiting for him. His hand found her breast just as his mouth claimed her ear - his thumb and fingers teasing her nipple as his tongue swirled in and around her ear. He gently nibbled her lobe and whispered something hot and precious and her consuming inferno was complete. She began to make helpless little sounds.
"How do you get this dress off?" he demanded in her ear.
"Over the head, no buttons or fasteners," she answered breathlessly.
He slid his arms around her and slowly pulled her back up. Using one arm to lift her hips and the other's hand to whisk the brief sundress over her head he was finally able to savour her breasts. Kathryn let out a cry as she felt him lick her and blow, nibble and tease, and finally suckle her. She felt a long forgotten feeling as she flooded her panties, wanting him in her.
She dug her fingernails into his scalp, and moaned. "I want to feel your skin against me, Chakotay." He looked up with dark eyes and gently reached up and captured her hands. He brought them down to the first button of his shirt and while she undid each one he unbuckled his belt and unfastened his trousers. He kicked off his sandals and the shirt joined her dress in the back seat. Then, still eye-locked, they both moved to allow the other to slip their hands under their waistbands and slide off the last remnants of their clothes. Chakotay couldn't resist, when he felt her wetness his hand slid along her folds, gently feeling her softness. Then he gasped as her hand cupped his scrotum and then slid up along his erection to the tip, her thumb gently spreading his own wetness. Suddenly urgency hit both of them.
Chakotay leaned towards the instrument panel and tapped a command. The back of the seat started to recline but halted as it hit the flotsam piled in the back. She shot him a desperate look but he pulled her to him and whispered, "It's enough," before crushing her mouth to his. He leaned back against the seat and gathered her into his lap.
She felt his fingers slide into her at the same moment his tongue plundered her mouth and she instinctively shifted to accommodate them. While his fingers matched the rhythmic thrusts of his tongue, his thumb found her clit and began to stroke it. Then he slowly withdrew and his hands slid around her hips to her bottom and raised her up.
"Ride me, Kathryn," he said.
She slid down, taking him into her body with a soft moan. She looked down at him and saw his rapture, head back, eyes half closed, and his lips alternately being licked or bitten by his own delicious mouth. His hand came back to hold her hips and then slid down her thighs.
"Don't kneel around me, Kathryn. I want all of you." He adjusted his position a little and gently pulled her closer around him. He thrust deeper into her and they both let out small groans.
He brought his hands around her hips and bent them so that his long golden fingers reached down to where their sexes were joined. He found her clit again and delighted in her cry as he worked it. Continuing on their quest his hands traveled down her soft inner thighs, gently applying pressure to spread them. Finally, when he thought they were in the right position, Chakotay slipped his hands behind her knees. A gentle pull and now her knees were in the air, his torso in between them. She threw her head back with this new freedom and moaned his name. His hands followed those thighs back down to her opening and resumed stroking her.
"Much better," he said in that soft low voice. "Don't ever be modest with me." He slid his arms under her thighs and around her hips, locking her into a bear hug. His fingers spread wide on her lower back, sending chills running up and down her spine. Steadily he thrusted, in control and watching her every expression and movement. She began to grind against him and meet his thrusts with those of her own.
Suddenly Kathryn started to arch her back and moan with each thrust. Her body shone with sweat and she flung her elbows out as her hands plowed into her own hair. Chakotay dragged his hands by their fingernails up higher on her back and then used his hold to leverage himself closer to her writhing body. His mouth started at her throat, stretched out and white with her head flung back, and continued until it found a ripe nipple, pink and engorged with passion. When his hot mouth sucked it in she screamed, grabbing his shoulders to keep her balance as she bucked wildly. It would be a day before he saw the bloody wounds in the mirror from her fingernails, gouges from every clench that matched a thrust and scratches from every hot spasm that coursed through her body.
She was getting close now. He swirled his tongue around her hard nipple and gave it several gentle nips while his hand ministered to the other one. He loved how she reacted to his devotion to her breasts, pushing them into him, demanding he ravish them. Her breasts were beautiful, small and round, and they fit perfectly into both his hand and his mouth. Just thinking of them made him thrust extra deep while he sucked and she started a small scream at the back of her throat. It started to build in intensity and he knew he was finally going to live his dream of watching Kathryn come for him in his arms.
His hands now held her hips and his thrusts were deep and true. Without taking his eyes from her he held himself in, concentrating only on driving her over the edge. He wanted to be hard as her muscles clenched around him, another dream. Suddenly it was happening, her legs stretched and he was hearing his name howled in ecstasy by the woman he loved. Her climax was hard and shattering and it took several moments for her to quit her violent bucking and writhing. She finally fell exhausted against Chakotay's chest, soaked with sweat and her own readiness, hair a wild tangle, and her chest heaving for oxygen. He brought his hands up and stroked her back, soothing her with small love talk. He ran small kisses through her hair and down her neck and finally she looked into his eyes through half shut lids.
"My gawd," she whispered.
He was wicked. "No, just me. Was it good, Kathryn?" He ran his mouth over her face. "I wanted it to be so special for you for our first time."
"It was the most amazing experience in my life, Chakotay. I saw stars, I really did."
"Better than the meteor shower we were supposed to be watching by now?" he breathed into her ear. She bent her head sideways, exposing her throat for him and shivered when his lips obliged.
"Oh Chakotay. I've never felt anything like this before, even in my dreams of you."
"You were so beautiful, Kathryn. I've had dreams, too, and I never thought reality could beat fantasy, it's not supposed to work that way." He brought her mouth to his and kissed her. It was slow and soft, a gentle kiss full of his love for her and its sweet tenderness made her feel weak. She only hoped that her responding kiss could make him feel half of what she felt burning inside of her for him. When it ended she laid her head on his shoulder.
"I love you so much, Chakotay."
"I love you, too, Kathryn. I have for years and it doesn't look like I'm ever going to stop."
"I'm glad," she whispered into his neck. She squirmed her bottom and felt him shudder. "I think we have something to finish here." He groaned.
"Now it's your turn," she said. "But first..."
He groaned again. "No firsts. Do me, Kathryn, I'm so crazy hot for you."
"Oh, I will, Chakotay, don't worry. I've been dreaming about this for a long time. But we're going to freshen up first."
He just looked at her and moaned, "What?"
She leant over and opened the door. "Freshen up. We're going to have our first shower together." With uncanny timing there was a flash of lightening and the deluge outside was illuminated. He groaned again.
"I don't want a cold shower, Kathryn, I like it where I am. I've been taking them for almost seven years and I want you sweet, tight, and much hotter - now!" He grabbed her hips and drove into her. It was her turn to gasp but when she caught her breath she carefully lifted herself off him. His head rolled back against the seat.
"I have faith in your strength, Chakotay. C'mon, let's go." And, as she pulled him with one hand she stroked his slick, aching penis with the other. He followed her blindly.
The rain was pelting down and she led him to the edge of a pine tree's branches where a virtual waterfall of water was pouring. The night wasn't cold and neither was the water but their overheated bodies got a shock when they stood under the shower. Chakotay shuddered as Kathryn started to rub him down, sluicing water everywhere. He was dizzy with desire but helpless to deny her pleasure.
"There," she murmured as she kissed his neck. "Your face, neck and shoulders are done. Did you like that?" Her mouth followed her hands down to his chest and he felt it moving around in counterpoint to her hands. Lips, tongue, teeth everywhere - she nipped his nipples - spirits! Was that how that word evolved!? He grabbed her hair, his fingers moving in it restlessly.
She slid lower, her hands sliding down his sides to his hips. He groaned as she ensured that his bellybutton was spotless in her own inimitable way while those hands sluiced over his stomach and belly. He was shaking for real now, totally oblivious to the cool water.
She slid even lower and he couldn't restrain a cry as her hands gently started to wash his penis and testicles. He slid his feet wider apart in the mud and pushed his hips towards her, clutching her head and anticipating her next move. When it came and he felt her hot mouth taking him in, he cried out again, involuntarily sliding his hands to the back of her head and supporting her as he thrust. He felt her hands clutch his buttocks and hold on and he thrust again. Then, shuddering, he bent back and let the wall of water hit his face. His hands stoked her head and then he withdrew from her and gathered her against his chest.
"Remember that thought, Kath," he husked, "but right now I want you the old-fashioned way." He suddenly backed her up to the tree trunk, hoisted her around his hips and plunged into her deeply. One smooth stroke mimicked by his mouth plundering hers and he tasted her scream.
"Chakotay! My back! The bark!"
Chakotay whirled them away and knelt down in one movement, one hand bracing her head and the other the small of her back. He laid her down and continued pounding into her. Her bent legs spread wider than he thought possible and then wrapped around him, her hips matching his thrusts, her moans matching his grunts. Chakotay had known many women before this moment but he had never felt the urgency to possess any of them like this, his powerful ramming exposing his male need to brand Kathryn as his own. He was transported, his half closed eyes seeing stars, his ears hearing only her sex noises, and his body on fire to bring them flying over the abyss together. Suddenly a lightening strike lit the world in violent white light and at that very moment he finally, at last, exploded into her, howling her name. She climaxed at the same moment that he released and, as the thunder rumbled around them, they rocked together on the most violent aftershocks he had ever experienced. When their breathing was back to normal he rolled onto his side and pulled her to him with both his arms and legs, stroking her back softly.
"How's your back, Kathryn?" he whispered. "I'm so sorry."
"It's fine, Chakotay," she smiled. "I think this mud is therapeutic. I think this mud is very therapeutic"
They both grinned liked kids at each other.
"Maybe we should take a supply back to Voyager."
"Well, if we don't shower again we're going to! I can't imagine what the Ambassador is going to think when he sees us when we get back - not to mention the mess we've made of his car."
"I wouldn't worry too much about that, Kathryn. While you were relaxing in the garden we were in his study looking at his collection of antique weapons - and I definitely got the impression that he was a...well, a man's man as it were." He felt a small reaction. "Are you blushing, Kathryn?" he laughed.
"Well, I guess I just didn't need to think of him knowing about us, Chakotay. It is a little embarrassing, you know."
"Hon, you'd better get over it. The natives here are telepathic and I can emphatically state that everyone who gets within a mile of me will know how I feel about you. And the Ambassador knew before we left."
"I guess that as long as Tuvok doesn't find out I'll be satisfied. Come on, let's get cleaned up." She started to stand and he joined her.
"I'll just be happy if Paris doesn't get psychic. That jerk has been leering at me for almost seven years and I don't particularly want it to get worse." He started separating her hair under the waterfall to rinse out the mud. "Permission to knock his block off on the bridge, Captain, if he tries it again?"
"Permission granted, Commander. Just make sure you leave one eye open for him to steer by. You can take all his teeth, I've had about one toothy grin too many myself over the past few months." They both laughed as they finished washing each other down. The last trick was to get their feet clean but Chakotay found a pail in the back of the car and filled it up. He washed Kathryn's feet as she dangled them out the car door and then his own when he slid in. Kathryn found the beach towels they had thrown in when a midnight swim was on their agenda and then she carefully tried to tidy up the car. Chakotay helped, but he chuckled the entire time.
They were both buck naked and industrious when a sharp rap sounded on the window. Chakotay quickly threw a towel at Kathryn and wrapped one around his waist as best he could. He lowered the window carefully.
"Commander Chakotay," greeted Tuvok.
"Commander Tuvok," responded Chakotay. "What can I do for you?"
"I need no assistance at this time, thank you, Commander, but I was concerned for the safety of yourself and the captain. Our sensors and transporters were unavailable due to this storm and the Ambassador could not confirm your location either. Are you both all right?"
Kathryn's head showed over Chakotay's bare shoulder. "Quite all right, thank you, Tuvok. We're fine."
Tuvok could no more control his eyebrow than he could laugh. It was his one outlet for enduring all the emotions that always surrounded him on Voyager, and he used it now, almost with relief.
"I am gratified to hear that, Captain. Can I be of any assistance?"
"Thank you, no, Tuvok. We're on a picnic."
"Indeed. Does your vehicle require any maintenance?"
Kathryn and Chakotay looked at each other and sighed. "Maybe a little, Tuvok," she admitted.
"Ah yes. Then the commander was piloting, I take it," he deadpanned.
They both blinked. Chakotay opened his mouth to retort but shut it again when he felt a hard pinch on his butt.
"Of course, Tuvok! Be a dear and run a systems check on it, will you? And if you don't mind, we were just about to eat our supper so we'll just stay in here."
"An excellent idea, Captain. In your current conditions I would be most grateful if you did that. Excuse me while I go start the repairs." With that he withdrew his head and Chakotay raised the window.
"Well, that was a foregone conclusion. I wonder how long he waited in the rain before he knocked on the window."
"You aren't suggesting.." Kathryn's voice faded out in horror.
"He's the best damned security officer in the Fleet and systems were down. What's your guess?"
"Oh my gawd, I have to work with that man!"
"You and me both, Kathryn. I can only think of one thing worse."
There was another sharp rap on the window. Chakotay lowered it, intending to order Tuvok to just leave it for the morning.
"Commander. Captain," came a smug little voice.
"Good evening, Paris, what can we do for you?" sighed the commander.
"Nothing much. Just wanted to let you know that Commander Tuvok has located the problem and that we'll have you fully functional in just a minute."
"Thank you, Tom."
"No problem, Captain." He looked in at the instrument panel until her voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Exactly why are you here, Tom?"
"Me? Oh, well, someone had to pilot Tuvok down through the storm." The lieutenant looked over at Chakotay. "And say, Commander - nice flying yourself!" His head disappeared before Chakotay's fist could make it up to his chin. He satisfied himself with shutting the window and turning to look at Kathryn.
"It was just a joke, Chakotay," she laughed.
"With two possible meanings, Kathryn," he muttered. She gasped and looked away.
"You're sorry now, aren't you?" she asked in a small voice. His heart melted.
"No, never. I've never really hidden how I feel about you, Kathryn. Everyone on Voyager has known for years so I have nothing to hide or lose. Are you sorry?"
"No," she admitted softly. "I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but now Tom will do it for me. I'm not sorry either, Chakotay."
"Then let's get dressed and eat our supper. I don't want this picnic to end."
Tuvok and Tom were as good as their word. The car was put in working order quickly and they left in their own land vehicle, wildly careening down the road under Tom's hands. Kathryn and Chakotay could almost see Tuvok's eyebrow flying out the window as they roared away.
They arrived back at the Ambassador's residence at dawn and stayed for breakfast at his insistence. Throughout the meal Kathryn kept feeling that there was a whole other conversation going on between the two men but she finally decided that she didn't give a shit. Let him know - he might be a pig but he was a nice one. And his hospitality would always top her list of favourites.
Chakotay rang the chime to the Torres-Paris quarters. The doors slid open and Tom and B'Elanna both greeted him with a smile.
"Come in, Chakotay," welcomed B'Elanna. "It's good to see you, it's been too long. Would you like a drink?"
"No, thanks, Be, I can't stay. I just brought something for Tom." He held out a bottle to the helmsman.
"Gee, thanks Old Man. What did I do to deserve this?" Tom read the label and looked up at the commander in astonishment.
"Let's just say I appreciated that bit of information you gave me the other day. It, well, it really worked out like you suggested. Thanks." He patted B'Elanna on the shoulder and was gone.
"What was that all about?" she asked her husband.
"I'm not sure. When we got here and saw the mode of transportation used, we just got to talking. I mentioned how in old Earth movies cars used to run out of gas on country roads all the time and the leading man would try to make the most of that time with his girl. I didn't really think he was listening."
The door chime sounded again. "Come in," they said in unison. The captain stood there looking sheepish and holding a bottle.
"I don't mean to intrude. I just brought a little souvenir back for you, B'Elanna. Here," and she thrust it into her chief engineer's hands. "For some good information that you mentioned a few days ago. My appreciation." She smiled and was gone.
The doors closed and they looked at one another and the two bottles.
"What good information?" he asked.
"I think she means when we were talking about internal combustion engines and how their different systems could be compromised. It wasn't really that long of a conversation.."
They looked at the door again and then back to each other.
"I saw the reading on Tuvok's tricorder. Their breakdown was definitely a result of the electrical storm that was in progress on the planet. There was no tampering involved in any manner."
"How about the petrol?"
"Low, but enough to get them back."
"He must have miscalculated."
"And she must not have understood the basics of antiquated power systems."
"And some fools say there is no God. The idiots. C'mon, let's have a drink before dinner."
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